We’re deep into the pre-draft process and the Bengals have shown a clear interest in the top edge rushers in this year’s class.
After bringing in Kentucky’s Josh Allen and Florida’s Jachai Polite last week, the Bengals hosted Mississippi State’s Montez Sweat for a top-30 visit, per Alex Marvez.
The Montez Sweat pre-draft tour continues with a Monday night visit with the @Bengals— Alex Marvez (@alexmarvez) April 8, 2019
Sweat has been one of the biggest risers of the draft circuit. A transfer originally from Michigan State, Sweat put together two productive seasons at Mississippi State and earned an invite to the Senior Bowl. Coming into Mobile, Sweat was regarded as a day two prospect; and left as a potential top-20 pick. Only a few players period had a better week at the Senior Bowl than Sweat, but he wasn’t done there.
“One guy that has everybody buzzing coming into the week is @_sweat9.” - @MoveTheSticks breaks down film of the former @HailStateFB DE— NFL Network (@nflnetwork) January 23, 2019
: @seniorbowl Practice pic.twitter.com/cHhwa4T933
At the NFL combine, Sweat again blew everybody away, literally. His 4.41 40-yard dash is the fastest ever recorded for a defensive end at the combine, and his explosion and flexibility testing measured in at the elite level as well for his official size at 6’6” and 260 pounds. His 35 3/4” arms and 10 1/2” hands aren’t too shabby either.
The combine assured that the first round wasn’t just a possibility for Sweat, it was a stone cold lock. You’ll have trouble finding a recent mock draft that has him outside of the top 16 picks — there’s even talk of him being a top choice for the Giants’ pick at the sixth overall.
If Sweat makes it past New York and the Lions at eighth overall, he’s got to be a part of the conversation for Cincinnati. Very rarely do pass rushers with his tape, production and athleticism don’t pan out, and edge rusher remains a pressing need for Cincinnati despite the addition of free agent defensive end Kerry Wynn.
But if he’s not there, the Bengals won’t sweat it.